One of the best things you can feed your cattle happens to be cottonseed in Southland, TX, and for no shortage of superb reasons. This plant acts as a natural source of vitamins and nutrients for cattle and can easily be implemented as your choice of diet feed for herds with minimal cost to you, as a farmer. Furthermore, the long term benefits to your cattle, as well as your land, make an investment in cottonseed something that can hardly be overlooked.
But why, exactly, is cottonseed such a stellar choice for cattle feed and what benefits does it offer over other dietary choices? And, how do you introduce cottonseed into a diet regimen for your cattle, ensuring that the shift in feed options takes hold? Take a look at some comprehensive facts, figures and ideas that need to be understood to make your adventure into the world of cottonseed one that’s beneficial all the way around.
How much should be fed?
The first and foremost concept to understand when dealing with cottonseed is the concept of moderation and sustainability. Knowing how much to feed your cattle and what that means economically is essential to understanding one of the prime benefits of cottonseed in Southland, TX: its low cost, high return
Feeding five to eight pounds of whole cottonseed to a cow on a daily basis is going to be the normal procedure for cottonseed feeds. Of course, this is post-blooming—speaking economically, this would translate to about 25,000 seeds!
Now, overfeeding isn’t a major concern, but it is something that should be monitored closely if it occurs, since it can impact a cow’s protein, fat and fiber levels fairly substantially if overfed for any prolonged period of time. It’s also wise to have your forges tested to balance your cattle’s diet—a close eye needs to be kept on the ration of your herd as a whole.
Feeding limitations and restrictions
Now, while cottonseed in Southland, TX might be a substantial improvement to the diet of your herd, it needs to be considered that there are limitations and restrictions to what’s capable with a cottonseed diet.
Your cottonseed supplement should not exceed 15 percent of your herd’s total dry-matter diet and the diet shouldn’t really continue longer than six months at a time. The reason for this is due to a compound called gossypol, which is naturally occurring in cottonseed. High levels of gossypol, which occur when cattle have prolonged diets of too much cottonseed, could lead to a myriad of potential troubles within the herd, such as low fertility rates, lactation troubles and more.
Younger cattle (under one year) and those who are fed a cottonseed diet for extended periods of time are more likely to experience the effects of gossypol, however those within the diet restrictions of 15 percent and six month intervals are much more likely to not experience any symptoms at all, as the gossypol is processed out of the cow’s body in a short amount of time.
Cottonseed for your herd
With such a high reward coming from cottonseed in Southland, TX, it’s in any cattle farmer’s best interest to ensure that their herd is exposed to a cottonseed diet. For more information about cottonseed, it’s best to consult with your local AG products supplier.